A project born from an inkling at the PDNorth CPDexchange in June earlier this year. Graeme Edwards let’s us know what the project has done, it’s plans for the future and how you can get involved, too.

The initial idea for FE Forest School came about at a PDNorth practitioner event on Zoom. My thinking was driven by the emerging coronavirus situation and research showing ESOL learners were less likely to explore the outdoors, I wondered if the Forest School concept could be applied to adults (especially ESOL learners) in an ACE setting.  Within minutes a hashtag was launched on twitter (#FEForestSchool) and colleagues from across the FE landscape were sharing ideas / experiences with many expressing an interest in exploring further.

I was asked to talk about the idea at the Northern NATECLA get together the following week and consequently ended up presenting my ideas at the Teachmeet session at the NATECLA national conference.

This was followed up with a Padlet and, with the assistance of Lou Mycroft, a thinking environment Zoom meeting was held for colleagues from across the country and sector.

#FEForestSchool has since become the central point of my #APConnect Constellation C project and will be developed using an action research approach – pilot projects at land-based colleges will be established to test ideas and approaches and a follow-up practitioner conference (hopefully in-person) to share the learning will be held in June 2021.

The next step is to have a further Zoom ideas room supplemented with a Slack space to collaboratively design and implement the research project.

Graeme Edwards

If you’d like to get involved or have any ideas you’d like to share / explore then please contact me:

Twitter: @g_d_e